I put my bucket of nut brown in the freezer last night and dropped the temperature to 30 degrees F. I am cold crashing it and as is usual there is a lot of conflicting information out there regarding how long it should remain. So I am calling on this community for personal experience. I am not asking how long we have all read or heard the cold crash should be, but more for your results after doing it. Has anyone done one day and found it to be enough? Has anyone done one or two days and found that they should have gone longer? I am planning to keg it tonight so that would be one full day at 30. My goal is to transfer to keg with as little crap in the beer as possible. Yes, I know that since I will be force carbonating for 2 weeks in that cold environment that I will really be cold crashing for 2 more weeks, but I would like to have a clear beer going in to the keg.
My experience is that it takes at least a couple days. More is better.
I’m usually not in a rush so I crash for a week. I’ve seen decent results in as short as 3 days but a week is better. I will also hit it with gelatin after 3 days for clearer beer.
I prefer to cold crash as close to 35-40 as I can get it for 3-4 days, hitting her with a dose of gelatin 24 hours before the end. I’m relying on ambient temps plus a swamp cooler and lots of 1/2 gallon size ice bottles. Results have been great.
The longer you crash it, the clearer it will be. But I’m pretty sure it follows a logarithmic relationship - you get a lot more clearing on the first day than on the second, more on the second than on the third, etc.
There are also other factors to consider. How clear is the beer when you place it in the fridge? How clear the wort was at the start of the boil, how good a hot and cold break you got, and the flocculation characteristics of the yeast will also impact the time needed.
So this is really one of those questions without a good answer. It has been enough time when you feel it looks clear enough, and that time will vary brew to brew.
Well, here’s my update. I opened the bucket after a day in the freezer and took a hydrometer sample. It was very cloudy. I expected more clarity since it usually is clearer after 3 weeks. Then I looked at my brew log and saw that it has only been 2 weeks. I guess I lost track of time. So I took it out of the freezer and set it in the floor again and it will sit there for another week.
could also have some chill haze to it. Gel plus cold crash will get rid of all of it!
I typically cold crash for 7 days or so.
Why not leave it in the freezer for that week instead of the floor?
The thing I don’t like about cold crashing in carboys or buckets is that the change in pressure will suck back sanitizer in the airlock. It probably don’t hurt anything, but it just annoys me. When I ferment in kegs, I can pressurize the keg, then cold crash, no air lock. I like that. I don’t cold crash any more though. I don’t see the benefit other than keeping yeast out of the keg…but that’s really not a big deal to me.
Well gdtechvw, here’s my theory. If I am wrong then please correct me. I like to leave the bucket in an environment that is in the active temperature range for the yeast to work for a full three weeks. The way I understand it is that after the big fermentation period, the yeast spend some time “cleaning up” and processing a lot of the by products of the fermentation. So if I leave it in the freezer at 35 degrees F for the last week then I think I would be stopping that process. And in my limited experience so far, I have found that leaving the beer for that extra week or so past the main fermentation period has resulted in a much better beer. So, I brewed an Irish Red this morning and that will go in the freezer at 65 degrees F for a week and then I will swap that out with the nut brown ale and cold crash it while the red finishes up in the ambient room temp for two weeks (or maybe three since I will need to keg and carbonate the brown before the freezer is available for the red).
I don’t know, I guess as I do this longer I will end up with all the answers and a method that just works. We shall see. Hopefully I live longer than it takes to gain all the required knowledge. I’m only 47 so I think it’s a fair bet.
By the time you cold crash, fermentation is done and you don’t need an airlock. I just stick a solid stopper in my bucket.
By the time you cold crash, fermentation is done and you don’t need an airlock. I just stick a solid stopper in my bucket.[/quote]
Well, that answers my question I had to you on the AHA forum about “Lagering/filtering”. I take it you drilled your own airlock holes for your buckets. Mine is grommeted. Wonder how I could rig that up. I don’t really cold crash much anyway, but I might if I could figure that part out.
Could always put an undrilled lid on there, I suppose.
[quote=“Beersk”]Well, that answers my question I had to you on the AHA forum about “Lagering/filtering”. I take it you drilled your own airlock holes for your buckets. Mine is grommeted. Wonder how I could rig that up. I don’t really cold crash much anyway, but I might if I could figure that part out.
Could always put an undrilled lid on there, I suppose.[/quote]
yep…gave ya the same answer there. And I drilled my own holes.